tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC January 23, 2010 8:00am-8:59am EST
right now on "msnbc saturday," through the weather ringer, snow, rains, winds and mudslides trying to recover and clean up out west. to the rescue. the wild weather left one dog stranded, but some determined firefighters made for a happy ending. cash for gold crackdown. companies accused of offering empty promises for people debt pris for cash. >> will sasha cohen do it? the figure skating champion is about to find out if she'll have a spot at the vancouver olympics. good morning, everyone. i'm alex witt.
all of those stories plus conan o'brien l o'brien last night. a string of storms battered california for five consecutive days. heavy snow contributed to many accidents. torrential rains flooded neighborhoods in southern california, and storm damage in the city of long beach is expected to top $ million alone. the storms were deadly. body of a hiker discovered in a rain swollen creek at the bottom of a creek in thousand oaks. evacuation ordered lifted for residents living in the foothills of los angeles. authorities concerned all of the rain would trigger mudslides. the storms then struck arizona with heavy rain in phoenix and 4 1/2 feet in flagstaff where it is snowing again today. more now from nbc meteorologist bill karins and good morning to you. >> good saturday morning to you, alex. what a week with the huge storm out west. knew moves into the middle of the country. thankfully not that cold. certain areas way to the north, up into mont monday and dakotas
that have to deal with significant winter weather from this storm system. ending the winter warnings in flagstaff and northern portions of new mexico. radar, light rain extends from texas through oklahoma. the snow confined mostly through the dakotas. temperatures right around freezing from minneapolis northward. light freezing drizzle along with light snow. that's the travel trouble spot. north dakota and areas north of minnesota towards duluth. as far as snow forecast goes, the possibility of 6 to 12 inches north of bismarck into the north and west of duluth and minneapolis, where you'll shovel tomorrow morning. and the middle of the country, the possibility of strong storms today developing in oklahoma and especially around arkansas. probably the area of concern with any potential severe weather. maybe isolated tornadoes. back to you, alex. >> bill karins, thanks. for next hour from you. britain raised its terror alert status to the second highest level. a british official says this
means a terrorist attack is highly likely in the uk. the public is also asked to be on alert. >> number one job is to keep the public safe and secure, and i would say to the public, that they need to be vigilant. they need to help the police and the security services. >> and nbc's tom aspell is live with more. what can you tell us about this raised security alert? >> reporter: priten may have raised it from substantial to severe, police say while they're heightening vigilance, there is no firm evidence to suggest an attack might be imminent opinion the home secretary alan johnson said the decision to raise the alert was base on a range of reasons, including terrorist groups in the uk and overseas. this is the same threat level the united states has had in place the last few years and could be based on intelligence
the u.s. and britain have were gathering in yemen, where the al qaeda are planning further attacks on the west. >> the possibility of female suicide bombers. what are you hearing about that over there in london? >> reporter: intelligence agencies have been feeding back and forth information saying al qaeda in the arabian peninsula may be planning to use suicide bombers. no firm evidence but part of the watch britain and the u.s., the closer attention, rather, they're paying to yemen. last week britain suspended direct flights to and from yemen and established a no fly list for flights destined for the uk. >> tom aspell in london, thanks. the search and rescue phase for the catastrophic earthquake in haiti is over. rescue teams made an incredible discovery just before that. two more people pulled alive from the rubble ten days after that quake hit. live in port-au-prince we have
more, good morning, mike tea em. what else have you learned? >> reporter: may be the last miracles of the search and rescue phase of this operation in port-au-prince. an 84-year-old woman in critical condition rescue from the wreckage of her own home and a 21-year-old man, emanuel busa taken from the national cathedral where the archbishop's body was discovered earlier last week. this is as i said, the very last miracles. in our they're in the recovery phase. recovery from this particular disaster, alex is at least a lot of relief organizations are saying, could be more complex and more challenging than after any other disaster in memory. because the infrastructure here, more precisely, the lack of infrastructure. no electricity the next four months hop road structure, awful, airport is crippled, 140 flights getting in.
harbor itself, only 30% capacity. that's it. getting relief to the people who need it so desperately, those hundreds of thousands of people who set up hundreds of tent camps around the city, it's a near impossibility to do it in any organized fashion. this is going to be a long, long recovery period and a couple of months. the rainy season starts here as well. impossible to get your head around the scale of the damage and destruction here, alex. >> mike, do you get any sort of gut check sense things are turning for the better, though, at this point? is it still too soon to be say that? >> reporter: some things obviously are turning for the better. if the harbor is operating at 30% capacity, that's 30% better than nothing, the case a couple days ago. the airport is getting 140 flights. better than the 25 or 0 or 30 o earlier. and the relief work, looking at some of that, setting up and organizing, they couldn't a couple days before with water distribution, food distribution, that sort of thing. again, the people getting the
distributions are the strongest and the weakest, and people who need it the most, people at this point, 11 days after the tragedy struck are still not getting the basic essentials. food, water, medical care, shelter kits. most of the hundreds of thousands who made it don't have it yet. >> wondering about the bake elements of commerce there? all of these people, are they relying on handouts? because they have nowhere to go to buy things? they can't buy things? what's happening on that front? >> reporter: you're right on both counts. they don't know where to go to get it and don't have the money to get it. even if they had money in the bank or relatives willing to send the money, until today, couldn't get that money. yes, thing, open, you see food items being sold. being sold. can't get the dough you can't buy it. yesterday driving around, hundreds of people backed up at a money transfer office. think of our western union offices waiting it for open today, a day later, hoping to get cash sent from relatives or
other source sent into haiti. a nearly impossible situation for hundreds of thousands of people. >> mike taibbi, thank you for that. and quite the glamorous group, the two-hour "hope for haiti" featured some of the biggest names from sports, news, politics. logon to "hope for haiti now.org. there's the story of a dog and some determined rescuers which caught pretty much everybody's attention, including msnbc's christina brown who join us us to tell us what happened. >> reporter: good morning, alex. a scared, cold, wet dog that forced at least 50 firefighters to put their live on the line. the fast-moving watered trapped the german shepherd mix in a los angeles river for nearly two hours. to stay alive, the dog tried balancing on the concrete ledge, which was barely, just barely, above water level. fire crews monitoring the scene
from a nearby railroad overpass tried to get the dog to move down river by lowering a floatation ring. well it was a helicopter crew that hooked joe st. george from the los angeles fire department to a cable, as he tried to pull the dog out of the water, the german shepherd just was not having it. it was not going to be rescued without a fight. >> because of the time constraints, i didn't really have time to you know establish any rapport with the dog. so he's cold, he's wet, he's scared and then here's some stranger, you know, jumping on his back for all intents and purposes and he did what dogs do. >> certainly did. bit him. bit him one too many time. the firefighter actually suffered multiple bites to his hand and forearm. the dog, however, is now recovering at a local animal shelter, and alex, you can probably imagine, a lot of people have asked just why put so much effort into saving a dog? but the rescue workers actually don't see it that way. first of all, they consider the
dog a life worth saving. but also, what they didn't want to do is encourage someone who was not trained to try and do this. risk their life trying to save an animal. >> oh, you know people would see that and, i've got to the go help. >> absolutely. >> you know what else, christina? it actually brought some happiness to a lot of people who watched. lifted a lot of peoples spirits when you look at a horrible weather situation. gave us a bright spot. >> a happy ending with this wicked, wicked weather we've been covering. >> good point. thanks very much. conan o'brien thanks his fans and said good-bye to nbc while hosting his final "tonight show "arrest has night. he said walking away was the hardest thing he's ever had to do since taking over the show seven months ago. during his final monologue he poked fun at nbc and himself. >> hbo when you make the movie about this whole nbc late-night fiasco, i would like to be played by academy winning actress tilda swinlten.
>> that is absolutely hilarious. anyway, fans line up overnight outside the burbank, california studios braving the rains for a chance to be in the audience for the last show and most said it was well worth it. >> sad to see him go. the end of a great legacy. hopefully he'll come back. >> more of a -- really funning, of course, as always, but there was, like emotional affect tonight, because -- he was like sad that he's leaving. >> conan is set to be replaced by the man he usually took over for, that guy right there, jay leno. still ahead this hour, snow in the southwest. a live report from arizona how people are dealing with a blast of wintry weather there and voter anger played a big key in the massachusetts election. a new poll. keep it here on "msnbc saturday." only one a day men's 50+ advantage... has gingko for memory and concentration.
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arizona. storms that slammed california delivering a one-two punch of wintry weather in that state, flooding for phoenix and several feet of snow in flagstaff. live to flagstaff and the very latest, weather channel meteorologist paul goodloe. it's snowing again and 6:15 in the morning pap long night. good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, alex. again, the snow has ended right now, but again we'll see more snow showers. last hour the snow coming down almost on cue as you came to me. right now it is not snowing. talk about the storm. we had historic snow here and many areas picked up four to five feet of snow so far this week. we can still see perhaps maybe two to six more inches of snow as we head throughout the day today. we are still under a winter storm warning in this part of arizona through noon local time today.
and also the adot, arizona democrat of transportation, is hoping to open interstate 17 north by 7:00 a.m. another 45 minutes or so, and interstate 40 was closed two times this week, but that is open now and interstate 17 south is now open. that was closed twice this week as well because of all the snow. now, in the southern half of the state, in the phoenix area, they had heavy rain while we're dealing with heavy snow up here. in fact, flooding is a huge concern, and still many rivers are swollen, but they are slowly coming down. the problem with the rain in phoenix is in an average january they see only 0.83 inches of rain the entire month. so far this month we've picked up over 2.3 inches of rain and most of that is happening just this week. so nearly tripling your monthly rainfall in less than seven days will cause a lot of flood concerns, and the good news is, they have chances of scattered showers today but nothing like the rain on both tuesday of this
week and also thursday of this week. the flood concerns are slowly abating in that part of the state. here in flagstaff, 7,000 feet. historic route 66, road crews up and early and often out here plowing this as well as the interstates, and folks here in arizona are used to the snow, but you're talking four to five feet in a week? well, even they are saying, hey, enough is enough. in isn't going to break until tuesday or wednesday of this week. alex? >> yeah. used to cactus, paul, that's a problem, right there. that kind of snow. that trade-off? i don't know. >> it's elevation. 7,000 feet, yeah, you get snow in this part of the world. >> you're absolutely right. paul goodloe, thanks so much. later on this hour, a live report on the difficult situation created by the days of rain in california. that's coming up in just a few minutes. let's go to politics now. what republicans are selling think new-found possession of ted kennedy's old seat, a new poll suggests it's not sweeping
change. 82% of massachusetts voters want senate-elect brown to work with democrats when he gets to washington. just 11% of voters want brown to thwart the democrats' agenda, according to a new "washington post" kaiser harvard poll. publisher ever the cook report at cook.com and a dw frent. thanks for joining us, charlie. >> good morning. >> how do you read the voting environment now ahead of the 2010 elections? >> i think what we saw in tuesday's election, special election in massachusetts, in this new kaiser harvard "washington post" poll, it's a continuation of what we've been seeing for about six months or so. one, you could say broadly voters are unhappy. that creates a lot of political turbulence. then you soo two contradictory things happening. one hand, a frustration democrats have been pushing health care to a lesser extent climate change and a time when people want to see a focus on the economy. remember when bill clinton said during the 1992 presidential
campaign he wanted to focus on the economy like a laser beam. that's the focus that voters are looking for. but at the same time, in this survey in massachusetts showed and recent national surveys as well, there's a growing skepticism about the size and the role and the scope of government. for example, here we are in massachusetts when one of the most liberal states in the country. at the time of the 2008 election, 63% of people in massachusetts, of voters, said, given the choice, do you think government should do more to help people or government trying to do too much? 63% said government should do more. in the survey this week it was 50%, with 47% in massachusetts saying, the government was trying to do too much. we're seeing much of the same thing nationally. so one group of people say, focus on the economy. get that, don't do health care. don't do climate change. focus on the economy. the other group is saying, the government's trying to do too much and they're upset about
t.a.r.p. and bailout and takeovers and budget deficits, as you know, charlie, the party in power traditionally suffers losses, swinging the pendulum from one poll to the other. this suggesting not a win for republicans so much as for the senator. is the cycle of extremes part ever the frustration for the american voter? >> i think what you're seeing is, people -- you saw, alex, we talk about this 1,000 times in 2006, 2008, when voters are unhappy, they want change. and the change represented throwing republicans out of congress in '06. out of the white house in '08. they're still unhappy. they have new frustrations, and right now that frustration is to throw republican -- throw democrats out and the ironic thing here, while democrats i think have made huge miscalculations and maybe are worthy of throwing out,
republicans have done very little, on the other hand, to earn their way back in. for example, the stimulus package, a perfect plan, but turned out to be not big enough, and the republican criticism was that it was too big. lord help us if they had succeeded. >> charlie, i've got to wonder, if people have it in perspective. thinking back to barack obama's inauguration speech, he admitted addressing all of these issues. ginormous problems. nothing small on this plate he was taking ober and said it's going to take a while to get this done. are people too impatient? i mean -- i'm throwing that out there. if you don't have a job right now, believe me, you have every right to be impatient, but are people too impatient because some of these things are huge? you can't turn them around in a year? >> i think -- there is an impatience that's out there, but i think this impatience has reached a fevered pitch, because what they want is washington focused on jobs.
and people see washington as having a certain bandwidth of attention and things they can focus on, and they see health care as having dominated 80% of that bandwidth when they want about 100% of that bandwidth, the domestic portion of it focused on jobs. democrats made health care and obsession at the expense of jobs and a feeling that the white house and democrats sort of checked the box on the stimulus package back in february, and then moved away from jobs. that's their frustration. >> so, charlie, yes/no answer, if can you. was that a mistake by the obama administration? did they do wrong on that? >> i think the obama administration last summer made an enormous political miscalculation of basically saying, we're going to go for the whole loaf. we're going to continue to focus on health care, despite the fact that the jobs situation was clearly getting worse than anyone expected, and that's what the attention was on. i think they made a huge miscalculation, and my hunch is
it came from the top. my guess is that he had experienced advisers saying, cut the deal and get back on the economy, and he decided full speed ahead. let's keep plowing away. >> charlie cook, as always, a pleasure. thanks so much. >> see ya, alex. tomorrow on "meet the press," democrats lose their 60 vote majority in the senate, what is the future and the obama agenda? exclusively interviewing valerie jarrett and mitch mcconnell. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." check your local tv listings. sasha cohen. will she make it to vancouver? ♪ people say i'm forgetful. maybe that's why we go to so many memorable places.
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and can help increase bone strength to help prevent fractures. do not take actonel if you have low blood calcium, severe kidney disease, or cannot sit or stand for 30 minutes. follow all dosing instructions. stop taking actonel and tell your doctor if you experience difficult or painful swallowing, chest pain, or severe or continuing heartburn. these may be signs of serious upper digestive problems. promptly tell your doctor if you develop severe bone, joint, or muscle pain, or develop dental problems as serious jawbone problems have been reported rarely. to get a free trial offer of once-a-month actonel, visit actonel.com and ask your doctor how once-a-month actonel can help you reverse bone loss. ed winter olympics gig february 12th. figure skating is always a big part of that. one big question for the u.s. team, will sasha cohen make it to her third winter olympics? we'll find out when she competes
today in spokane, washington. lee ann greg that more. >> reporter: the stakes are high. a place on the olympic team in the most popular sport in the winter games. this year the contenders include some unfamiliar names, except for one. sasha cohen. olympic silver medalist hoping to become a three-time olympian. at age 25, the grand dame of the ice. this is her first competition since she retired in 2006 and started touring with "stars on ice" proving she can still mesmerize and audience, she finished in second place after the short program appearing to be in the best shape of her life. >> one of my friends said you need to be lighter, faster and you need to be -- stronger, better an durns than ever before. >> reporter: one of her young rivals, the 2008 u.s. champion, is in first place, with something to prove. >> it is the best short program i've didn't thus season so i'm really proud of myself but i know i can always do better. >> reporter: 17-year-old rachel flatt is in third.
less than a point separates the top three finishers. each will need a strong long program to clinch one of the two spots on the olympic team. the ladies' long program is promising more thrills on the ice on the road to vancouver. lee ann greg, nbc news, spokane, washington. nbc sports will have live coverage from the figure skating championships beginning at 3:00 p.m. eastern time today. a reminder it is 20 days to go until opening ceremonies of the 2010 olympic games. you can watch all of it on nbc. still ahead, the ads promised big money for your gold necklaces. why are some people saying they just got pennies on the pound for their heirlooms? . plus support for heart health. ( crowd roars ) that's a great call. one a day men's. sure, come on back. it's on the lift.
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residents ordered to evacuate due to potential mudslides. the evacuation has since been lifted. are residents returning yet? >> reporter: evacuation orders lifted yesterday. mrs. a police checkpoint just below where we're standing and just about everyone made their way home. the big concern in this area was muss slooids bus a combination of sandbags and good weather that really helped this area divert a disaster. now the cleanup is under way. the damage was done in just five days, but the cleanup may take weeks. thick mud, tangled debris still littered streets inundated during the height of the storms. but in southern california, neighbors aren't just cleaning up, they're going home. the threat of mudslides that forced thousands tea evacuate is over. now they they've been given an all-clear to return back.
as storms moved into arizona it flooded parts of sedona. 100 miles away, this house left dangling as water rages below. >> you come to the desert, you don't expect to be drowned. >> reporter: in scottsdale, arizona, the storm also damaged antique cars when poles were tossed by strong winds. in the eastern part of the state, white jou conditions forced the closure of several interstates and roads. good news for parts of the west. all of the rain and snow put a dent in the drought that has parched the region in recent years. >> we got a good soaking in the west, and a good start on our snow pack, and in the long range, the big story here is not mudslides. it's drought. >> reporter: not far from hollywood, more weather related drama. friday, firefighters tried to rescue this dog stranded in the los angeles river. >> and atlantics loit looks lik trying to get to the dog. >> reporter: it played out on local tv and cable networks
nationwide. >> a lot of rescue workers out there. >> reporter: the dog was terrified. the rescue wouldn't be easy. >> trying to bite him. yes. oh. man. how tough is this? >> reporter: the dog was eventually lowered to safety, but the firefighter had to be treated for severe injuries. >> i didn't really have time to, you know, establish any rapport with the dog. so he's cold, he's wet, he's scared and he did what dogs do. >> they've tied it him down. >> reporter: as storms blew through california arizona they also drenched nevada. the city saw more thain than it saw all of last year. recording record rainfall, alex. >> what a mess it's been. then it's okay today for weather but is more rain in the forecast there, miguel? >> reporter: yeah, more rain expected in the forecast next week. it's light rain. nothing like the week we had, but, of course, as you mentioned, the big concern in this area in particular is those mudslides. the hills here are still
waterlogged and over the next several days that remain as concern for some firefighters that will continue and police officers that continue to patrol this area, but it's the waterlogged hill swres to worry about. more rain bad news. >> for sure. thanks so much. from there to britain where officials raised the terror alert status from substantial to severe. this is the second highest terror threat level there. a british official says this means a terror attack is highly likely in the uk. joining me, roger cressy, terrorism analyst. good morning, roger. >> good morning, alex. >> i understand the british home secretary also said the attack is not imminent. why raise the level? >> well i think it's regarding a couple things. first is, they've done an assessment of all the intelligence coming in since christmas day's attempt against the northwest airlines plane. they believe al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, there is still an expectation and chatter amongst individuals something
else is coming. a significant conference on afghanistan and with that conference, a counterterrorism on yemen happening this week. all of that together made the home secretary and mi5 decide to raise the level and make it consistent frankly with the level the united states has had for some time now. >> is this the kind of thing the british intelligence gathering operations, they're the ones that exclusively contribute to this? or does, say, what we have learned here in the united states, do they take a look at our intelligence and say, put it all together, that's why we need to raise this? >> oh, absolutely. the level of cooperation between the united states and great britain is the highest it can possibly be. i mean, they see so much of what we see and vice versa. so they're going to draw this conclusion based on a couple things. what they've learned from us. what they see inside the uk, and clearly a significant terrorist threat domestic aand what they're hearing from al qaeda the arabian peninsula and other networks of al qaeda worldwide. taken today, the jtac, drew the
conclusion we should be raising the level, that's why the home secretary put it out yesterday. >> could we have take an clue from prime minister gordon brown's announcement all direct flights from yemen as of yesterday suspended? was that something you think was part and parcel of this? >> oh, yeah. i don't believe in coincidences in the counterterrorism business. that was a part of it. one thing they announced that prized me, didn't know they had it, the absence of a no fly list. they've inchmented that official procedure. suspended flights from yemen that reflects where they believe the threat is coming from. >> they don't have a no fly list in britain until recently? >> that's correct. that's correct. >> overall -- >> overall. they did not put in place the same type of procedure dwes. they had different procedures where if they had intelligence on individuals they certainly would not allow them to fly british carrier flights, but they did not have the same type
of structure, mirroring what we have, until most recently. again, another reflection how the ux looking at the threat now, changing their policies to account for how the threat is changing as well. >> joining forces. roger cressy, good to see you. thanks. >> you, too, alex. new this morning, the haitian government and united nations say the search and rescue phase for survivors of the catastrophic earthquake is over. that announcement comes a day after rescue teams pulled two more survivors from the rubble in port-au-prince including a 21-year-old man and an 84-year-old woman. the haitian government and international agencies are searching for sites to build tent cities to house the hundreds of thousands of homeless. thousands of haitians are streaming out of the quake flattened capital looking for any shelter they can find. also today, the haitian government is trying to begin restoring essential services in port-au-prince. it could take several months to restore electricity to the capital. some of the biggest names in music, film and sports joined together last night to help haiti. several television networks broadcast the primetime telethon
including nbc. scores of celebrities manned the phones while others performed. ♪ ♪ cause i don't want to feel ♪ ♪ love you less i'll stand by you ♪ i'll stand by you ♪ won't let nobody hurt you ♪ i'll stand by you ♪ >> and to get nor details from nbc's rehema ellis. one power packed performance after the next last night. terrific to watch t. was. this telethon brought out and entertainment list of who's who. it was powerful images, emotional stories and they offered tremendous support right now to people who have tremendous need.
♪ to rebuild this country >> reporter: the world's biggest stars turned out to help. >> let us all pledge to do what we can. ♪ maybe there's a god above >> reporter: the hope for haiti now telethon featured performances from los angeles. ♪ heaven help me >> reporter: new york -- ♪ ♪ i could be your hail oh >> reporter: london. compelling images from the quake rav offed island. george clooney one of the telethon organizers made a heart felt plea. >> this is an opportunity to help a neighbor in help, in need, in desperate need. >> reporter: special envoy bill clinton joined the two-hour event the most widely distributed telethon ever. aired commercial-free around the world on more than 60 networks including cable and online and cell phone access. >> hey, steven spielberg. really cool to talk to you. >> reporter: more than 130 celebrities including taylor swift, morgan freeman and julia
roberts volunteered to answer the phones. >> part of the appeal in having celebrities, so many celebrities on a telethon like this is it's simply fun for donors to, who want to make a pledge to pick up the phone and hope that mr. brad pitt is on the receiving end. >> reporter: singer wyclef jean spoke about the importance of music. >> music is the key to the soul. the haitian people love music. >> reporter: the money raised will be divided evenly among several charities. ♪ let it be >> reporter: organizers hope to collect even more for haiti in single, albums and this historic telecast go on sale. phone lines remain open so people can continue to donate. >> good news. . thank you for that story. nbc's rehema ellis. a member of congress making a big stand against the cash for gold companies. you've seen the ads. mail your gold to a company, make quick cash as a result, but
is it really worth it? answers now from our new york station wnbc. good morning. good to have you here. can you really make some money from this? >> maybe not at some would like to. pawn shops sometimes pay up to 35% to 70% of market price for gold, but there are accusations this company may pay a little less. strong claims against a popular company, cash number 4 gold. probably seen the ads. claiming to be the world's number one buyer of precious metals direct from consumers. a member of congress says, watch out. getting cash for your gold sounds like an easy way to make some money. not so, says this cash 4 gold customer. >> $ 200. what's the value of the gold? and they sent me the check for 15 cents. >> reporter: consumer and elected leaders accused cash 4 gold for taking advantage of a bad economy. >> what our research found is that the quotes they're giving only amount to between 11% and
29% of what a piece of gold jewelry is actually worth. >> typically consumers are going to get a much less attractive deal than if they took the met toll a reputable jeweler. >> reporter: at a news conference in the diamond district, congressman weiner proposed a new law to make sure jewelry isn't melted down before you accept the company's appraisal and forced companies to ensure returned jewelry at the same value it was sent. he says there are lots of complaints of lost jewelry. >> i can understand one or two times having something get lost in the mail, but 1,300 times, it does raise serious questions about whether or not something fishy is going on. >> reporter: we reached out to cash 4 gold. they tell us cash 4 gold worked closely with florida officials to create the first law of its kind regulating the mail-in gold-buying industry and welcomed them to work on a similar bill national in scope.
they have 12 days to accept their offer and if not will return the jewelry free of charge. >> if they have it. >> right. if they have it. that's the key question. >> so is there an official investigation going on right now? >> the congressman is asking the federal trade commission to look into these allegations, also introducing this bill, which among the provisions would force companies to give consumers ample time to make their decision. some consumers are complain they sent in the items and that the clock starts ticking a little too early. 12 days are up before they know and the gold is melted before they have a chance to respond to the company and say whether or not they want to accept that amount. >> interesting story. a lot of people affected. >> a lot. >> wnbc linda have a kara. could to have you here. and the president and his goals. has he been taking on too much, too soon. plus -- ♪ come around, come around >> i know you want to sing that. the song just about everybody is
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democrats' bruising loss in the massachusetts snoot race. some suggesting health reform is one issue on which the president overreached. michael hirsch writes on newsweek.com, "obama apparently did buy into the idea that he was a man of defsny and being one possessed bottomless supplies of political capital but he really had no more political capital than any first-year president and he was straining his reserves just dealing with the stimulus and financial reform much less fixing afghanistan." and good morning to you. >> good morning. >> so, michael, you know the president wins on a platform of change. wouldn't he be facing an amount of criticism if he did not try
make bold moves and shake up washington? >> well, i agree with that. september that he had a whole slew of bold moves he needed to make. face it, he inlatherited the mo "titanic" since world war ii administration. so my only point is, of course, health care la to be dealt with. everyone knows that, but he's elected for four years, not one year. and one la to pace oneself. >> put it in perspective, because you write, i first became worried about his bridge too far problem last year while coving financial reform on the hill when various congressional staffers told me their bosses didn't really have the time to understand how the wall street lobby was reeling the legislation with loopholes. i read that and started getting worried you too.
what do you mean? what happened then? >> if you look closely at the administration particularly derivative trading that went under barney frank. the wall street lobby came in big time, created a lot of loopholes that many experts in finance were very worried about, because it will allow the wall street firms to continue the same kind of, non-transparent trading done in the past. my impression was that the administration simply put this on a back burner, were not riding this issue hard. they were very focused on health care. when you talk to many congressmen on the hill they said, look, we don't have the time for this. that was worrisome. >> another analyst on earlier said it was as if it was a box and they checked it, done, move on to health care. was that the mentality? >> yeah, and the problem is, this is still very much in mid-stream. this has not yet passed the senate. and now as the president himself acknowledged when he announced
these new dramatic reforms to try to prevent the banks from doing proprietary trading, the wall street lobby will be in again. it's a full time job, just dealing with financial reform. in addition to that he had two wars. my only point is, i think that to bring up health care at a time when no one was demonding it be done in his first year was a bridge too far. >> is it easier now to go after the president for overreaching when you look what happened in massachusetts on tuesday? >> yeah. i mean, it certainly, with the benefit of hindsight, you have to conclude, look at the poll numbers that elected scott brown, read into them clearly discontent over health care was a problem. one evered sad results is that the health care bill they do get, if they get it, is going to be a meager one and the battle for it so bruising that people aren't going to really want to go back to this issue, and really try to get some of the things that they had wanted, like a public option. so i just think it really adds
up to a political miscalculation. >> michael hirsch, we always love talking with you. thanks so much. >> thanks. still ahead, fast food favorites. why mcdonald's has new brags rights. you're on "msnbc saturday." prefer this sauce. winner of the blind taste test. the sweet and savory taste of prego. it's in there.
this week, proposed changes for banks. more people losing their jobs and a burger battle heating up. a lot happening with the economy. vera gibbons joins me now. >> good morning. >> surprise jump in the first time jobless claims? >> yep. painful reminder how difficult this job situations is, why obama is back out there in places like ohio trying to push his plan here. also, people collecting unemployment benefits. that's continued to go up as well. it's a very, very grim picture out there. six months into the recovery. layoff, slowing down but people just are not finding work, and if they're lucky enough, it is on a part-time free lance contract basis primarily. >> still double digit
unemployment number there's. what about mcdonald's? >> right. sales are down the first time in 25 years. >> really? >> year-to-year stuff. globally things are looking good. profits actually up in the four quarter. $1.2 billion profit in the fourth quarter. so the global results sort of reflect what's going on at mcdonald's. served 60 million customer as day in 2009. up 2 million more per day over the prior year. people are going there. doing better than the competition, they're trending down, training down. the dollar menus, people love those. >> popular. >> extremely popular and one of the primary recipients. >> and the burger news? >> yeah. burger, toppings, all the stuff, burger king rolling out whopper bars. >> whopper bars, you get beer,
burgers, all sorts of fun topping. $7.99 for beer, burger, fries. trying it in different markets. in south beach, if all goes there, hit other areas like new york, las vegas, other ones. they're really trying to go after, trying to get into the casual dining area, and -- >> appeal to the 30 and under set. >> where the growth will be in the industry going forward. so interesting new try. probably do okay with that. >> okay. vera gibbons. you'll come back and tell us more? >> i'll be back. still ahead, you've seen the ads. do all of those as-seen on tv gadgets live up to the hype and are they worth your money? that story coming up here on "msnbc saturday." it runs in families - my mother has it, and now i have it. so even though i tried to keep my bones strong, it wasn't enough. now, once-monthly boniva is helping me do more. it didn't just stop my bone loss. boniva worked with my body to stop and reverse my bone loss. and studies show, after one year on boniva, nine out of ten women stopped and reversed theirs, too.
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